Posted by debrac | Posted in Uncategorised | Posted on 05/25/2018

If you happen across my post over the summer, I want to tell you that I will not be returning to SES next school year.  Many of you know that I have had quite a long drive for the last two years since my family and I moved north.  I have accepted a first grade position at Manning Oaks Elementary in Alpharetta, in North Fulton County.  Though I will miss my first grade colleagues TERRIBLY, I am excited for this opportunity.  Mrs. Wohl has moved into my former room, so the corner will be in good hands!


I will truly miss the Smyrna family and wish all the best for everyone in the future!  Many thanks to all for wonderful support and friendship!


Debra C


final weeks…..


Posted by debrac | Posted in Uncategorised | Posted on 04/15/2018

It’s hard to believe so much of this year has passed!  We still have a few more weeks to bring all students up to a confident level for success in second grade!  How can you help?  Check it out!

-Remind students that we love fun, but we come to school TO LEARN!  I will not allow distractions or playing to impact these last few important weeks.

-make flash cards to practice spelling words at home or even in the car


-remind students to use their strategies when they come to a word they don’t know

-practice math adding and subtracting facts to 10 until FLUENT!!!

-practice math adding and subtracting up to 20 USING A STRATEGY SUCH AS COUNTING ON, DOUBLES and NEAR DOUBLES!!!

-watch students write!  We still need to work on LOTS of less than ideal letter and number formation habits.

-Be sure to note our important dates and join us as appropriate.


Many thanks for your support this year!  Look forward to seeing everyone for Awards Day!

Spring is almost here!


Posted by debrac | Posted in Uncategorised | Posted on 02/23/2018

I hope everyone has enjoyed winter break and will return healthy, well rested, and ready to learn!  Our fantastic class is really progressing!  Thank you for helping at home with:

-nightly reading and noting on the Million Minute Challenge log

-practicing sight words and math facts (fluently to 10, using a strategy such as counting on up to 20)

-ensuring students are completing HOMEWORK

And speaking of homework…. 😉 , beginning in March we will NO LONGER use the spiral notebook for homework.  Students will be given a weekly packet on Monday, to be completed and turned in on Friday.  The packet is more rigorous and specifically relates to skills students need to finish first grade strong!  To clarify:  Students are expected to complete homework (per Cobb County policy).

Please send in field trip funds and completed permission slip ASAP.  Thanks!

Happy New Year!


Posted by debrac | Posted in Uncategorised | Posted on 12/30/2017

It’s hard to believe that the first half of this year is done!  Our firsties have learned a lot, and now we will really be putting that learning to use!  You can help by TALKING to your child about any reading they do – get them to RETELL the story to you, including characters, setting, beginning, middle, and end of the story.

Students should be writing all letters and attempting spelling now WITH EASE.  If you notice labored formation of letters or numbers, or if they have brought papers home indicating practice is needed, PLEASE have them work on the Letter School free app, reminding them that the fun they have on that app is EXACTLY the way they should be forming letters and numbers.

Hope everyone has had a wonderful break, and will come back to school ON TIME EVERY DAY, ready to learn!

Fall Break Practice


Posted by debrac | Posted in Uncategorised | Posted on 09/20/2017

Dear Families,

Happy Fall Break! I hope everyone will be able to enjoy some down town next week! When we return after the break, I will be assessing all of our standards because the quarter ends on Friday, October 6. Since nine days is a LONG time for first graders, I’m attaching a few items that hopefully will help our firsties hang on to their learning over the break.  J

Have fun! See you soon!


We don’t need to work on ALL words every time! Take one list at a time and try some of the activities on the attached sight word practice page.


Standards: Students will identify and locate his/her city, county, state, nation (country), and continent on a simple map or a globe. ALSO……Locates and Identify continents, oceans, and landforms.

Our morning routine has included practice with these standards for several weeks now – so challenging! We use matching cards for the more local stuff, and two videos for continent & ocean practice. Here are the links to 2 videos that help us with continents and oceans. So fun!   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCW-dJyBrog



Counting: Randomly pick a number less than 100, and have your child begin counting THERE, up to 120. When they get to the 100’s, be sure they don’t add the word “and”….example: 108 is one hundred eight (not one hundred AND eight). This will matter when they are in upper grades! (This has also been a part of our morning routine….)

Adding: Students need to KNOW addition and subtraction facts up to 10. It’s o.k. to use fingers for counting if needed, but our ultimate goal is understanding from MEMORY. (It is a process! J) Here is a FAST but fun song for practice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpoFxwKBwE8


Standard: Write about a REAL EVENT using recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words (such as FIRST, NEXT, THEN, LAST or FINALLY) to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.

-print all upper and lower case letters

-print with appropriate spacing between words and sentences

-use end punctuation for sentences

-spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions

Please refer to the poster I sent home for proper letter formation. Written letters must be AUTOMATIC and formed properly so the students can focus on their thoughts, not laboring over letter formation. Most of our students need a GREAT DEAL of practice with proper letter formation.

September – already!


Posted by debrac | Posted in Uncategorised | Posted on 09/06/2017

Homework begins this month!  Please refer to the example sent home, and encourage students to use ALL of each page, front and back.  Leave the pages attached in the spiral notebook and turn in on Friday.  I will look at the work and return the spiral notebooks on Monday.



Posted by debrac | Posted in Uncategorised | Posted on 08/10/2017

Hello to all new first graders and families!  This new website is a work in progress, so check back often!  I do have pages (above) with helpful and fun links.  These pages will be a resource for homework calendar (beginning in September) and newsletters in the future.



Posted by debrac | Posted in Uncategorised | Posted on 07/24/2017

I look forward to meeting everyone this Thursday at Meet and Greet!  Check the school website for more important dates coming up!

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